Yes, I heard about that.
I remember I played GTA 3 again maybe 2 years back and was very disappointed. I think the fact that story in the game was so weak, what was disappointing to me. Times are changing and I remember that when I originally played GTA 3, in high school, I actually never got of the 1st island, It was just running around or driving a taxi. At that time I guess story was not important to me. Now, it is very much important to me as it answers the question of why I would want to play this game.
Both San Andreas and Vice City do have a bunch of mods to improve the current visuals. GTA 3 has a bunch of mods but they only work on the pre-patch original version of the game, with exception of the few.